But fructose, usually as either high-fructose corn syrup (44%, 55%, occasionally higher percentage fructose) or sucrose (50% fructose), is ubiquitous. I've seen it in the most improbable places, including cole slaw, mustard, and dill pickles.
It's reasonably straightforward to avoid or minimize fructose exposure while eating at home, provided you check labels and focus on foods that don't require labels (like green peppers, salmon, and olive oil, i.e., unprocessed foods). But when you choose to eat at a restaurant, then all hell can break loose and fructose exposure can explode.
So what are some common and unsuspected fructose sources when eating at a restaurant?
Salad dressings--Dressings in all stripes and flavors are now made with high-fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose. This is especially true of low-fat, non-fat, or "lite" dressings, meaning oils have been replaced by high-fructose corn syrup. It can also be true of traditional non-low-fat dressings, too, since high-fructose corn syrup is just plain cheap.
Olive oil and vinegar are still your safest bets. I will often use salsa as a dressing, which works well.
Sauces and gravies--Not only can sauces be thickened with cornstarch, many pre-mixed sauces are also made with high-fructose corn syrup or sweetened with sucrose. Barbecue sauce is a particular landmine, since it is now a rare barbecue sauce not made with high-fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient. Sauces for dipping are nearly always high-fructose corn syrup-based.
Ketchup--Yup. Good old ketchup even is now made with high-fructose corn syrup. In fact, you should be suspicious of any condiment.
Highball, Bloody Mary, Margarita, Daiquiri, beer--Even the before-dinner or dinner drink can have plenty of fructose, particularly if a mix is used to make it. While Blood Marys seem the most benign of all, adorned with celery, pickle, and olive, just take a look at the ingredient label on the mix used: high-fructose corn syrup.
Fructose is a stealth poison: It doesn't immediately increase blood sugar; it doesn't trigger any perceptible effect like increased energy or sleepiness. But it is responsible for an incredible amount of the health struggles in the U.S., from obesity, to diabetes, to hyperlipidemias and heart disease, to arthritis, to cataracts.